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Amar’e Stoudemire: Gay comments were ‘meant to be taken as jokes’

Amar’e Stoudemire has apologized for controversial comments he made about the hypothetical situation of having a gay teammate. But the former NBA star insists the comments were “meant to be taken as jokes” in the first place.

“I want to apologize for my offensive comments against the LGBT community,” Stoudemire said, via TMZ. “These remarks were taken from a larger interview where a reporter was asking me hypothetical questions, and all my answers had a comedic undertone.”

Stoudemire, currently playing in Israel for Hapoel Jerusalem, ignited the controversy when asked recently how he would feel about having a gay teammate.

“I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner,” Stoudemire replied. “And I’m going to drive — take a different route to the gym.”

Stoudemire’s comments, joking or not, elicited a scathing response from former NBA player John Amaechi, who announced he was gay in 2007 following his professional basketball career.

Stoudemire continued to reiterate his regrets over the comments while continuing to maintain he was joking.

“The answers I gave were meant to be taken as jokes & I am deeply sorry for offending anyone,” he said.

The former NBA star expressed hope that his comments, regardless of intent, would perhaps prompt a positive discussion.

“I am open to creating a dialogue to assist the fight the LGBT community encounters daily and will continue to focus on playing basketball,” he said.

Stoudemire’s apology, however sincere, probably won’t elicit as much goodwill as he hopes in light of the fact he insists it was all a big joke. Perhaps owning the comments in a more forthright manner without making excuses would have been a wiser course of action.